To investigate the genetic diversity, time origin, and evolutionary history of the 2019‐nCoV outbreak in China and Thailand, a total of 12 genome sequences of the virus with known sampling date (24 December 2019 and 13 January 2020) and geographic location (primarily Wuhan city, Hubei Province, China, but also Bangkok, Thailand) were analyzed. Phylogenetic and likelihood‐mapping analyses of these genome sequences were performed. On the basis of our results, the star‐like signal and topology of 2019‐nCoV may be indicative of potentially large “first generation” human‐to‐human virus transmission. We estimated that 2019‐nCoV likely originated in Wuhan on 9 November 2019 (95% credible interval: 25 September 2019 and 19 December 2019), and that Wuhan is the major hub for the spread of the 2019‐nCoV outbreak in China and elsewhere. Our results could be useful for designing effective prevention strategies for 2019‐nCoV in China and beyond.